A's Show arrives with bandaged hands

The Oakland Athletics are trying to decide what to do with pitcher Eric Show, who arrived at training camp yesterday with both hands bandaged due to lacerations on his hands and fingers.

Show, who missed practice Tuesday and didn't tell the A's he had returned to his home in San Diego, apparently didn't give the team a valid explanation as to what caused the injuries. The cuts required stitches at a Phoenix area hospital some time between the end of practice Thursday and 9 a.m. yesterday.


"I don't know what happened," A's general manager Sandy Alderson said after pulling the pitcher out of a stretching exercise for a closed-door meeting. "I'm trying to determine that. We'll make a determination on what course we take some time later."

Show spoke only briefly with reporters while gathering his clothing and leaving practice.


"I don't have a lot to say," the right-hander said, holding up a heavily bandaged right forefinger and bandaged left little finger. "I cut my hand."

Show, 35, joined the A's last year as a free agent, after spending the first nine years of his career with San Diego.

In other camp news, right-hander Bob Welch threw off a mound for the first time since receiving a cortisone shot in his left knee last Monday. Welch said he felt fine after throwing 105 pitches.

* CUBS: General manager Larry Himes said he thinks negotiations on Ryne Sandberg's contract will go down to the wire, but a deal will surely be reached.

"What I've seen in prior negotiations is that once the clock is set, the whole clock is exercised," said Himes.

The agreement, when completed, is expected to be in the neighborhood of $30 million for a five-year contract extension. New York Mets outfielder Bobby Bonilla is baseball's highest-paid player with a five-year, $29 million contract.

There was some confusion as to whether the deadline was really tonight or tomorrow night. Himes thought it was tomorrow night, but Sandberg disagreed.

"I start my season March 1," said Sandberg, who hit .291 with 26 homers and 100 RBI last season.


* ROYALS: Mike Boddicker, Kansas City's likely Opening Day starter, led the way as Royals pitchers threw batting practice for the first time.

Each pitcher threw for about 10 minutes. They previously had been limited to sideline work of 45 pitches.

* PHILLIES: Manager Jim Fregosi has a way to put two hard-hitting first basemen in his batting order: Make one an outfielder.

Ricky Jordan, a first baseman his entire career, started practice yesterday in the outfield.

Fregosi has penciled in John Kruk as the starting first baseman, but the Phillies still want to get Jordan's bat into the lineup. Last year, with only 301 at-bats, he hit .272 with nine home runs, 21 doubles and 49 RBIs.

Jordan, sporting an outfielder's glove, hit the field before the rest of the 49 players in camp yesterday to work out with coach Mel Roberts.


"We just want to see if Ricky can play out there," Fregosi said. "This would enable us to get his bat into the lineup more often."

* YANKEES: New York relief pitcher Steve Howe has asked a federal magistrate to suppress his handwritten confession to federal cocaine charges, contending the statement was "the product of coercion."

Howe's lawyers filed the motion this week with U.S. Magistrate Bart Erickson, who is hearing the misdemeanor case. If Erickson grants the motion, jurors at Howe's trial in Missoula, Mont., would not be told of the statement.

Howe, 33, is free on his own recognizance pending trial and is at the Yankees' camp in Fort Lauderdale.

* PIRATES: Barry Bonds will bat fourth after all. At least some of the time.

The Pittsburgh left fielder made that disclosure before he and his teammates hit the field for their first full-squad workout of spring training.


"Sure, I'll hit fourth," Bonds said. "I don't care where I hit."

A month ago, Bonds said he preferred to stay in his customary fifth spot following Bobby Bonilla's signing with the New York Mets.

Bonds said he and manager Jim Leyland had discussed his batting fourth against certain right-handers.

Bonds has hit 58 home runs, driven in 230 runs, scored 199 and stolen 95 bases in the past two seasons.

* ROCKIES: Two Arizona public officials say Colorado has chosen Tucson as the club's spring-training headquarters, although the Rockies insist speculation is premature.

"I can't confirm nor deny that we're going to Tucson or any other city," Rockies spokesman Dean Peeler said. "We simply don't have anything in writing, and I can't say when we will. We don't have a decision, and until we do we won't be making an announcement."


Cleveland, which has trained in Tucson since 1947, is moving its spring base to Homestead, Fla., next year.

* BRAVES: Reliever Juan Berenguer, who underwent surgery to his right forearm in December, threw for 20 minutes yesterday without any problems.

Berenguer threw 10 minutes from the mound on the sidelines and 10 minutes of batting practice.

"I'm ready to go," he said. "I was throwing breaking balls and split fingers. I feel great."